A few years ago I had to stop drinking coffee.
Yes, you can pause and grieve for me a minute….
I wasn’t a casual participant in the coffee-drinking world, either. I really enjoy the taste, the effects, and the social aspects of a great cup of coffee. It took me a few months to recover from the withdrawal…and a few more months to find out what fuels me without caffeine.
If keeping the coffee pot full is the only way that you’re guaranteed high performance from your team, it’s time to find a better strategy.
How do you know if your team is acting like a high performance team?
First, they realize that greatness lies in execution, not incredible ideas. Yes, ideas are critical, but without the ability to execute well and produce results, a team simply becomes a great think tank. A tank is designed to capture and hold things in. If ideas are abundant but none are actually implemented, you’re not acting like a high performance team.
So how do you help your team begin executing their ideas well?
Create consistency through processes.
The more consistent your processes are, the faster they can be completed, and the sooner you will see results. Encourage simplicity – if you can accomplish something in five steps instead of ten, make the change. With every additional step in a process comes the opportunity to lose people along the way and make mistakes.
Encourage creativity and provide a way to implement ideas.
The ideas that your team executes should not all come from you. Purposely design opportunities for those on the ground to propose ideas and solutions. Most importantly, give them the opportunity to see them implemented! The momentum you create will allow for openness and higher levels of creativity – which often leads to efficiency – and more results!
Maximize strengths through systems.
Each one of us has been given or has developed specific talents and strengths. When you help your team maximize those strengths through the systems you have in place, you’ll continue to see greater results.
The better your system for on-boarding team members into your culture, the more unified and effective your team will become. Provide clarity to team members about their role and expectations. Your team should know exactly what you are asking them to do. When people are able to perform their responsibilities with the security of knowing what is expected of them, they will produce exponentially more results than if they had to constantly ask for parameters and clarification.
Create a system for ongoing coaching and performance evaluation. Never make a team member guess how you think they are doing. When you see an area of weakness, respect them too much to allow them to continue being weak. Coach them to fulfill their potential.
Thrive on focus.
When your team is trying to do a thousand things well, they will end up only being mediocre in everything. Define the focus for your team. Create goals and create a “stop doing” list. Eliminate the behaviors that are preventing you from achieving high performance. Identify the gaps between where you are and where you desire to be as a team. Create action plans and solve problems together as you strive to become an efficient, high performance team.
How is your team performing currently?
What can you do to help them become a high performance team?